30 January 2009


Today while browsing my massively long list of blogs (I'm serious, I might need a blog intervention), I found a link to the site 20x200. This site is perfect for someone like me who loves to decorate my space(s) with art that inspires me, or makes me laugh, or that just makes me happy, but doesn’t really have the pocketbook to support a full blown habit.

found here

Every week, they introduce one new photo and one new work on paper. They then offer them in three standard sizes at three different prices, each with a limited quantity. The smallest size is offered at $20 in a batch of 200 and every single print comes with a certificate of authenticity numbered by the artist. As they say, it’s a great way for people who want to sell their art and people who want to buy their art to meet.

29 January 2009

a little bit of this and a little bit of that

*Ab and Jed came to visit us over MLK day weekend and we partook in all sorts of awesomeness.  They really couldn't have picked a better weekend to come, the weather was top notch, and the conditions were prime for a dance off:

*On Friday night, Pete took me out on a surprise date to Craft LA. I have wanted to eat at Craft since before we moved here (if you remember, it was on my list, an update on the progress of the list coming soon) so to say I was excited when we pulled up is a bit of an understatement. It was, hands down, the best meal of my life. The service was great, the food was prepared perfectly, and they pretty much had to roll me out of there they gave us so much food on top of what we ordered. They even send you home with a freshly homemade chocolate chip muffin. That Tom Colicchio, always looking out for you. I want to go back every weekend for the rest of the time I live in LA. Best date ever.

*The soup phase continues, as can be seen over at A Bit Better, with some Spicy Artichoke Tomato Soup. Totally delish and perfect for that cold weather everyone else except us is experiencing (did I tell you it was 80 degrees here a few weekends ago?). Don't hate me. 

*One last thing: I bought 10lbs of oranges for 5 bucks last week at the farmers market and I've been eating one or two a day for the past week but I still have six left to use up before they go bad. Any suggestions???

23 January 2009

Why my hip-hop posse would include Ina Garten

Ina Garten
because no one messes with Ina. Plus, we could all chill at her crib in the Hamptons.

11 January 2009

sunday morning

I love me some Sundays, especially Sunday mornings. There is little better in this world than sleeping in, making a big breakfast, brewing some coffee or tea and lounging around, enjoying not having to do anything but meander over to the farmers market and see what looks good. This morning, inspired by my new cast iron skillet (seriously, I love you, but it's going to take a while for me to get used to you being so. damn. heavy.) I decided to make a recipe from Orangette that I've had bookmarked for oh, about 3 years. 

Oh lordy, dutch babies are now my new favorite breakfast food. You whir a few ingredients in a blender or food processor. Melt some butter in a cast iron skillet, pour the batter in, throw it in a hot oven for a spell and when it comes out it looks like this:

How can that not be good?? The traditional topping for this is lemon juice and powdered sugar and I also made a blueberry sauce to go along with it, but I think I am a dutch baby purist, because seriously? the tang of the lemon and the sweetness of the sugar with the richness of the dutch baby? Swoon.

Recipe found here. A few notes: If you don't have a cast iron, I read that you can also do this in a glass pie pan, but you would want to have the batter be at room temperature or your pie pan will shatter. Not fun. Also, I used half 2% and half heavy cream and I am pretty sure you can use whatever kind of milk you have in the fridge. I also added a pinch of salt and a few teaspoons of sugar, just because I felt like it.

08 January 2009

soup, it's what's for dinner

While it isn't necessarily as cold as what I am used to, it is definitely winter around here. The air is cooler, the famed orange scarf has reappeared, and I am snuggling under the heavy blanket at night to keep warm. I am also craving soup. Lots and lots of soup. Last Sunday I picked up some kale at the farmers market not really having anything in mind for it, I just thought it was so pretty, with it's ruffly, girly edges. Tuesday night I made this soup, just throwing in what looked good (I'm looking at you red pepper) and what looked not so good (hello, shriveled up, almost ready for the garbage carrots) until it smelled totally delish.

Kale and White Bean Soup

2 carrots, chopped
1 red pepper chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large clove of garlic, minced
1/4 cup white wine
1 can of white beans (I didn't even bother rinsing the beans off, as I wanted that weird bean goo to thicken the soup)
4 cups stock (veggie, chicken, whatever you've got)
1/2 bunch kale, chopped
fresh herbs, minced (I had rosemary, sage and thyme)
red pepper flakes (next time I might do a little siracha as well)
salt and pepper
zest of 1 lemon, juice of half

saute carrot, red pepper and onion in olive oil until soft. add garlic, white wine, beans and stock and bring to a boil. add kale, herbs, red pepper flakes and salt and pepper to taste. simmer until kale is tender. add lemon juice and zest. when serving sprinkle parmesan over the top.

07 January 2009

laughter is the best medicine

I am sure you’ve probably read enough 2008 recaps to last you until, well, until it’s time for the 2009 recaps, but if you’ve got room for one more, this one should be it. Dave Barry always makes me laugh, even when he is depressing the hell out of me.

Big shout out to Pete's mom Betsy for sending this to me!

06 January 2009

blue skies

04 January 2009

zoom, zoom, zoom

I put it off as long as I could but if I am going to be a school nerd in a few short weeks (more on that later), it had to happen. I am now the proud new owner of a 2009 Toyota Corolla S. It's been 4 and 1/2 years since I have been a car owner and I am having mixed feelings about it, but I'm sure I'll get over it though, because isn't she (Pete said she had to be a "she" because he didn't need any more competition) so pretty? Plus she gets uber great gas mileage which totally bumps her up to HOT status in my book.

In the Burtuester family tradition, she needs a name. Any suggestions? 

01 January 2009

2009, i like you already.

I'm still here, I've just been enjoying the holidays! 

Christmas was spent in Kansas with my Dad's side of the family, including my Opa. We made some old family recipes, dressed some dauschunds up in their holiday best, ate our body weight in meat at a brazilian bbq, and played many, many hours of Wii. You know, a typical Christmas. Oh, and how have I not discovered the awesomeness of Wii until now?? 

Did you think I was kidding?

Tante Gretel rocking out on Wii bowling.

Barb and Aunt Suzi racing some cows.

A Christmas standard in my family: Linzertorte

New Years Eve was a decidedly low key event. Ever the party animals, we spent the night at home, eating steak, sipping bubbly and watching Kathy Griffin embarrass the hell out of Anderson Cooper. Oh yeah, and falling asleep by 10:30. Oops. I did whip up an awesome creme brulee using a recipe from a new book Pete's mom gave me. Mmmm, New Years Eve has never tasted better.

Yes I drink my champagne out of a naked lady glass. Doesn't everyone?

Looking back, 2008 was definitely a year of change for me, most notably, we decided to shake things up a bit and move to the West Coast. I'm still getting used to it, but more and more, this place is starting to feel like home. We have another move planned in the next six months, but this time, we're thinking maybe just 10 miles away instead of 3000. I figure we can take it easy this year. 

I'm not much for resolutions, but you can read about my hopes for myself in the new year over here. Here's hoping that your holidays were filled with love, laughter, food and bubbly. 

I know mine were.